RETIRED nurses, GPs, dentists and vets have offered to help get Craven vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Modality Partnership of surgeries, which include practices in Skipton, South Craven and Keighley, on Saturday received one of the first batches in the country of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine.

It asked for retired health professionals and others interested in joining a huge volunteering effort to get the community vaccinated.

And, it has been overwhelmed with offers of help - including from retired nurses, GPs, dentists and even vets. It even has a social media manager training to be a vaccinator.

Since receiving the delivery of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine on Saturday, it has vaccinated more than 200 patients - most of them over 80 years old - at Fisher Medical Centre, Skipton.

Helping to carry out the vaccinations were 23 volunteers who had recently completed their training.

These volunteers will be helping staff at the vaccination hub at Long Lee this week and other vaccination clinics in the weeks ahead. A further 50 volunteers have started training.

One of those helping out is retired GP Dr Alan Hassey, a GP at the Fisher Medical Centre in Skipton and Gargrave, for 31 years before retiring in 2013.

He said: “It is a pleasure to return to work as a Covid vaccinator in support of local practices and a real privilege to be involved in caring for patients again.

“My first vaccinator shift was on a freezing cold January morning, but there were no complaints from the over 80s queuing inside and out, just good humour and gratitude for a chance to escape from the Covid nightmare," he said.

“Some of the old ladies took great delight in answering the pre-vaccination screening questions on pregnancy.

“There was a real buzz about the surgery, busy, good-humoured and a great sense of purpose, knowing that for every 20 vaccines we gave, one life would be saved.”

Dr Hassey added: “It was great to meet the other vaccinators, returning doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and first-aiders and others.

"It was really quite emotional, I felt very proud to be part of the team again with patients so enthusiastic about the vaccination. The whole morning was so positive, lots of happy smiles, probably for the first time in months."

Skipton's Fisher Medical Centre’s Practice Manager Lois Brown said: "We have been excited and overwhelmed with the response from people coming forward to become a vaccinator and join our extended AWC Modality team.

"We are really looking forward to our volunteer vaccination team working alongside us, operating from our vaccination hubs and in our practices over the coming months."

She added: "Please remember. Don't call us, we will call you to book you in for your Covid-19 vaccination."

AWC Modality surgeries include Silsden and Steeton Medical Practice, Cross Hills Medical Practice, Fisher Medical Centre, Skipton; Kilmeny Medical Practice, Keighley; Haworth Medical Practice, Holycroft Medical Practice, Keighley; Farfield Medical Practice, Keighley, and Oakworth Medical practice.

To find out more get in touch with Bill Graham, Community Innovation and Development Lead at